SVT Joins MVP Effort

Click map for larger view. Map courtesy of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

To improve their resilience to climate change, cities and towns across Massachusetts have begun participating in a new Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) program. The MVP program arose from a 2016 executive order issued by Governor Charlie Baker, in which he established an integrated climate change strategy for the commonwealth.

The MVP program provides grants to municipalities that evaluate their vulnerabilities to climate change and develop concrete action steps to make their communities more resilient. The grants cover both the creation of the MVP plan and the implementation of the action steps.

Since the program’s inception in 2017, 74 communities have become MVP communities and another 83 are working to achieve the designation in 2019 (see map). With more than 40% of the 351 Massachusetts communities obtaining MVP designation by the end of the year, the commonwealth is taking great strides forward in the fight against climate change.

This year, the program added “land conservation” as an action that is eligible for an MVP grant. As a result, SVT is offering our input and expertise to the municipalities in our region as they develop their MVP plans.

In April, Dan Stimson (Assistant Director of Stewardship) and Ashley Davies (Senior Land Protection Specialist) attended the planning workshops for the Towns of Wayland and Harvard, respectively, where they provided input on those communities’ plans. Soon, we'll be participating in planning workshops in Clinton and Sudbury.

As other communities develop MVP programs, SVT staff will accept invitations to their planning sessions, where we can offer advice on nature-based action steps for improving climate change resiliency. We also recommend that our members attend their local MVP planning sessions to stay abreast of how their communities are responding to climate change.

Protection and proper management of natural areas help both to combat climate change and to mitigate the destruction caused by major weather events, such as floods, droughts, and ice storms. We encourage all the communities in our region to participate in the MVP program and to keep land conservation, forest management, and protection of water resources at the top of their action lists.